Banging sound while climbing hills in cold weather

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Joined
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#1
Greetings!

Brand new M3 Dual Motor Extended Range owner. Overall I'm thrilled with the car! But having one issue that I've seen posted on Tesla forums, but not here. I've searched on this forum and don't see any threads about same issue.

When driving over mountain pass in cold weather (<32 degrees Fahrenheit), I can hear and feel a banging/thunking/clunking noise coming from random locations under the car. First time it happened was when I was driving home from picking up the car. I drove 200 highway miles on mostly flat road without single episode. But when driving over a 3000 foot mountain pass in 22 degree Fahrenheit weather, I could hear banging or clunking noises coming form under the car. Worse when going uphill, but happens on downhill too. Roads were slightly wet, and my first thought was this is ice forming in the wheel wells and getting slung against the wheel well or bottom of the car. But since then I've driven same pass several times with dry roads and had same sounds. Sound is random, can come from front/rear/sides of car. It is definitely originating from the "floor" of the car. You can feel the clunk in your feet and seat. One person described it as "oil canning" which sounds about right.

I've seen other descriptions online of similar sound when supercharging. I've only supercharged a couple of times so far, but did feel/hear one similar "clunk" when I was sitting in car while supercharging.

I've seen other descriptions of it sounding/feeling like metal in the battery pack "flexing" due to thermal changes. I've also seen people attribute this to contactors in the battery pack, or battery pack heating/cooling system.

But I would definitely not describe this as a "normal" sound for a brand new high performance automobile. I'm sure it wasn't designed to make this noise. The real question is what is the cause, and what are the potential remedies?

I tried to call Tesla Support the other day when it was doing it, but the hold time was >20 minutes and I couldn't wait. I'm planning to call them again in the next few days when I have more time to trouble shoot with them. I'm hoping they won't want me to bring it in for service since I live 250+ miles from nearest service center, and so far I can only reproduce it when going over mountain pass. Maybe one of their mobile techs will come and I can demonstrate it for them.

Has anyone else had similar experience? Has anyone had productive response from Tesla about this?

Thanks!
Jim
 

Jay79

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#2
These are all guess, so keep that in mind. What you describe as a "normal sound for a brand new high performance vehicle" is in comparison to what? Another Tesla? You obviously realize that you can not compare what a Tesla does or sounds like in comparison to anything other than another Tesla, or in your case, another Model 3. Everything about this car is 100% completely different from every other car your have ever driven, it's even different from any other Tesla model with all the new tech they have implemented on this model. More than likely, and again this is a guess, your are hearing high voltage relays opening and closing or something along that nature due to the Battery Management System. If something failed on your car it would tell you, that's a guarantee especially if it still drives and performs as it always did. My car makes noises here and there from a clunk to random fan kicking on, nothing to worry about. All Tesla has to do is pull your data logs and they will know if something is malfunctioning if you want a piece of mind. I think in the end you will be just fine ;)
 
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#3
I get the banging sound every day during my drive home from work in Denver to my home in the foothills above. As the Tesla starts to climb up Mt. Vernon Canyon on I-70, I hear and feel a distinctive banging clanking noise. It doesn’t just happen in cold weather. I also hear it at other times and places. Been meaning to ask the service center, but haven’t been overly concerned. The car is performing just fine. I figured it had something to do with the electric motor/battery.

I have the AWD dual motor extended range battery. I have had my car since early September.
 
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#4
It is definitely not relays. It’s the metal floor flexing. To date, service centers are largely unaware. One ranger however said that Tesla is working on a fix which likely would involve some sort of dampening material. It may be the unintended result of eliminating the Flufferbot.

Addendum: Pulling logs will not tell Tesla anything except possibly that the battery was warming.
 

Rich M

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#5
Me neither, mild weather, various states of charge.
Has anyone else had similar experience? Has anyone had productive response from Tesla about this?
As the Tesla starts to climb up Mt. Vernon Canyon on I-70, I hear and feel a distinctive banging clanking noise. It doesn’t just happen in cold weather. I also hear it at other times and places.
It’s the metal floor flexing.
Yup, it's the battery and surrounding frame warming up. It happens faster when exerting more current like climbing hills or supercharging. This thread has more info:
https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/loud-banging-noise-when-supercharging.9435/
 
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#6
Coming down mountain, hairpin curves, it sounded like something was hitting side of car...nothing rolling around back there. Than tonight another clunk from rear when leaving light. ANY INSIGHT??
 
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#7
I get the banging sound every day during my drive home from work in Denver to my home in the foothills above. As the Tesla starts to climb up Mt. Vernon Canyon on I-70, I hear and feel a distinctive banging clanking noise. It doesn’t just happen in cold weather. I also hear it at other times and places. Been meaning to ask the service center, but haven’t been overly concerned. The car is performing just fine. I figured it had something to do with the electric motor/battery.

I have the AWD dual motor extended range battery. I have had my car since early September.
OMG
I've had my Model 3 for 5 days ... coming down from Buffaloe Bill's into Golden, bang happened 3 times! There is nothing in my car to roll around. I am very concerned...HELP.

[mod edit: related thread merged here]
 
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GarionB

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#8
Coming down mountain, hairpin curves, it sounded like something was hitting side of car...nothing rolling around back there. Than tonight another clunk from rear when leaving light. ANY INSIGHT??
Are you sure you don't have something in the lower trunk? Ie; there's another storage area under the main rear trunk
 
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#10
Shera, congratulations on your new Tesla. I love mine. Still learning lots of things and I’ve had mine since early September. The battery gets much less range in cold weather like we are experiencing now. They don’t really tell you that.

As to the banging noise, the Denver Service Center told me when I hear the noise to touch the microphone icon and say “bug report”. They can then look at the driving logs on the computer and see what is going on when it occurs. I’ve got an appointment with the service center on Dec. 10 and will let you all know what they say. I also have a sleepy touchscreen so I’m going to have them look at that too.
 

D. J.

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#11
I also got quite a few "bangs" on Sunday driving from Denver (5200' approx 20 deg F) up to Copper Mountain (passing through 11,000' down to 9000' approx -5 deg F). Roads were clear and I did not see any objects at the time of the "bang". I could feel it under my feet at times. Other posts in this forum indicate that it's related to thermal expansion/contraction of the battery pack, but it sure was disconcerting. I'd be interested in what you hear from the service center. And I'll submit a Bug Report the next time I hear a bang.

-=- D. J.
 

garsh

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#12
Other posts in this forum indicate that it's related to thermal expansion/contraction of the battery pack
Probably the battery pack case. It's a rather hollow-sounding metallic sound.

And when going up/down a mountain, I guess it's pressure-related rather than thermal. But same phenomenon.
 

PNWmisty

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#13
I hope this doesn't turn into general hysteria like the "vampire" drain threads. I still haven't noticed any thermal expansion sounds coming from the floor pan sheet metal (or battery packaging) but they certainly wouldn't alarm me as long as I knew it was harmless. I might even give a name to the little "troll" who lived under the car and liked to pound on it when he woke up. :p

How about "Grendel" from Beowulf (because he was the monster from down below).
 
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Kizzy

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#15
I've recently consistently been getting a moderately loud bang (like metal flexing) when going up a slightly steep hill where my rear right wheel dips into a pothole in the road while beginning to crest the steep section of the hill. I previously read it before (when it was warmer) as TCS engaging, as the sound at the time was more like anti-lock brakes engaging.

You hear so much more noise with quiet cars!
 
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#16
I get the same banging as the car warms up on my way down a windy mountain road. It has to be below 50 degrees outside, but its now winter in California so i hear it every day. Sometimes even feel the floor vibrate under my heels. Maybe they’ll figure it out since its cold now in Palo Alto. I’m only 10 miles from their HQ
 

h0mersimps0n

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#17
I get the exact same BANG going up hills... uncanny it's almost the same spots on the mountains/hills when I'm going. Usually a 10% or more grade at least.

I was worried it was the body flexing or something. Will be following this threat for sure.
 

Jay Jay

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#18
I've heard it only once while driving, outside of the two times I heard it while supercharging. That was going up Pike's Peak. Going to be on a road trip through the Rockies this week, so we'll see if it pops up again.
 
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#19
Here is what the Denver Tesla Service Center said in an email to me about my sleepy touch screen and the banging noise going uphill:

“Regarding the touchscreen, I've reviewed the log status of the timestamps that you've provided, and this appears to currently be a known issue among Model 3's in the region. Currently, there is a resolution in the works and will be available in a future firmware update that should hopefully be released by the end of the year. This firmware release will be sent to your vehicle over the air when it is available. This means that when there is a fix for your vehicle, you won't even have to come into the service center! :)

I've also done some research on the banging sound under the floorboards, and I've found that the issue is considered normal operation related to thermal expansion of the battery pack. Due to the battery pack using a thinner steel on the top of the battery pack, temperature changes of the pack can result in an "oil canning" type noise that will be most noticeable when driving or charging.

With these being your two concerns, I would like to let you know that you do not need to come into the service center. If you have any other concerns to add, we can keep your appointment. Otherwise, if you would like to cancel and wait for the firmware fix, please let me know!”

I then asked if Tesla plans a fix for the banging noise and here is the service center response:

“ As far as the banging noise goes, all that I know is that the engineers are aware of it, and the issue is currently under investigation. If a repair is available in the future, your concern has been noted and you will be notified!”

Sounds like folks experiencing this issue should contact their service center so they can be contacted in the event Tesla ever offers a repair in the future.